Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Sucked.

I'm not sure that I made any resolutions last new year's eve. I usually don't, so I am thinking I probably didn't. I wasn't in a very good place last new year's eve. Well, I mean, I was - I was home with my husband, watching the ball drop with the fireplace roaring, and it was a nice evening. But mentally, I was simply at the beginning of what would be a much larger breakdown than I could have imagined.

So, to briefly recap 2009:

My diagnosis of MS was confirmed.

The end.

I mean, I am sure there was more than that. Lots of little good and bad things - but what I will remember about 2009? That friday the 13th in March. And the ensuing fog of days broken up by crying fits, sleepless nights, and twitching.

This year, I figure I will come up with a whole list of resolutions. I mean, what the hell. Last year I didn't have any, and that didn't help.... so having a list couldn't hurt right? I mean, chances are good I won't keep/do most of them anyway. But if I do? Maybe it will give me some good things to remember about 2010.

(shoot for the moon, land among the stars somewhere soft... I hope...)

So, without further ado, and in no particular order:

1. More blogging.

(try to control your excitement)

Writing helps me get it out. Snarky, bitchy, cry-y (??).... whatever, it helps. I don't humor myself in to believing most of it is ever read, but it's not about that. Imagining an audience, even an unknown (ie. imaginary) one, helps me write with a better focus. It's like getting to hear myself talk. Only in my head. Without the crazy feeling. And all I really hear is the keystrokes of my slow ass typing.

2. No more eating potato chips at midnight while blogging.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Sorry Frito-Lay. (We had our moment in the sun. I won't forget you.)

3. Lose the 30 pounds I gained in 2009.
First, I think the above resolution will help that. Second, I will not allow MS to have this too. MS can eat up my brain and the meds can scar/bruise/disfigure my arms/legs/stomach/hips - but I will be damned if I let it ruin an entire closet of clothes that no longer fit me. Fuck. That. Shit.

(speaking of my meds....)

4. I will give myself my shot. Every night. Period.
Some nights I don't do it. Sometimes I "don't feel good". And sometimes I morph into this petulant child who somehow feels that not giving myself the shot is a big "fuck you" to MS. But it's not. I know that. I just have to get the fuck over it and do it. Every night.

5. I will stop drinking as much on weekdays when I am damn well finished for the night.
And not a moment sooner.

6. I will take yoga classes.
7. I will take Karate lessons.
8. I will take pole dancing lessons.


(In that order.)

First, I need the yoga to work on my balance and flexibility. I've also heard that it can help center you and make you less likely to want to kill maim slap the shit out of people who desperately need it. Second, I want the karate lessons so I can tone up my body and work on my coordination. Also, when yoga fails and I then need to slap the shit out of those people? I'll be able to do it more efficiently. Lastly, the pole dancing lessons would just kick ass. Who wouldn't want to swing around one of those things? But you have to look good doing that. And the karate would help.

9. I will buy and wear fabulous, funky, high-heeled shoes.
Let's face it: someday MS will (likely) make it difficult (at best) for me to be able to wear those types of shoes. Between the potential loss of coordination and numbness, there will surely come a day when 4 inch heels are even less sensible than they would be now. So while I can? I am going to work those heels for all I can.

10. Rid myself of toxic/unfulfilling/soul-sucking relationships.
I seriously wish they made some infomercial product that could cleanse my system of these people by simply taking some magic potion everyday which induces multiple trips to the bathroom. I would definitely take that over the struggle of actually figuring out how to separate myself from people who drain me.

11. Nurture those relationships which do not fall into the above category.
I am grateful to have people in my life who more than make-up for and outweigh the people who drain me. They deserve my love and support for the love and support they give me. And despite my moments of weakness and neediness, I still have a lot to give as well.

12. Ink.
I have been wanting a tattoo for a long time. And now that I have an idea for one, I have ideas for others. And I want at least one completed on paper, and then on my skin, before the end of 2010. Again, if MS is going to fuck up my body with these injections and such? I might as well pretty up the other areas.

13. Spend more time with my Bean.
I have to work. I don't have an option about that. But the time I have at home? I don't always feel like it's spent in a way that benefits Callie. Some days I am tired. Or crying. Or yelling. Or just too weak to pick her up easily or chase her around the house. So on the days that I feel good? I should be doing more of those things. Because she won't want to do them for forever. And I don't want her to grow up remembering her mom as sick.

14. Exercise more.
I don't know how this fits in with the drained-all-the-time feeling I get. And I also don't know how that fits in with the "more time with Callie" thing, but on the days I am feeling good, I should be using those opportunities to try to maintain my health as well. Even if it's just walking more... or something... anything... I just need to do something.

15. Pay down my debt.
I have no idea where to start with this. I'm thinking the first step would be a job that pays me enough to actually meet our monthly bills. Which, in all honesty, will be tough for me. For as much as I bitch about work, there's a lot I love about my job. However, I have a feeling a bigger paycheck might help ease the pain of leaving. Also, I'm not too proud to take handouts. Just saying.

16. Sleep more.
I really have no idea how to do this. Sleeping issues suck ass through a straw. And it's been so long since I've not had sleeping issues that I don't really remember what it's like to just go to bed at a normal hour and fall asleep. (Seriously, does anyone else know that Star Trek: Next Generation is on at 1am on WGN mid-week? Because if you are in your 30's holding down a 9-5 job and raising a child? You should not.)

17. Make a difference in the world by spreading peace, hope, love, and joy.
Why not, right? I did say I was shooting for the moon.

That's it. I think. For now, seems to be a good start right? I could have included stuff like floss more, see my dentist and eye doctor on a regular basis, keep a neater home, learn to cook.... but really? Who has time for all that mundane stuff. I'm going to be a pole-dancing ninja by the end of 2010.

And I certainly hope I can look back on this new year as the beginning of the end of my breakdown - and not the continuation of an even greater break.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Considering a new career path.

So, tonight, while wasting time online looking at shoes (what? you think what you do is super exciting all the time?) I came across these beauties and in an instant realized I need a new career.

Seriously? I need to be a stripper. Because really and truly? I *must* have these shoes. They are like kitschy little pieces of beauteous art and must be mine. They were made for the sexy hot stripper that lives inside of all of us - and mine is pining for these mind-bending sparkly lucite wonders.

Let's put aside for a moment that no one would want to see me naked. Let's also put aside the fact that I have all the seductive grace and natural rhythm of a chimp who's been hit with a tranq dart.

These things matter not at all.

It is all about the shoes.

Plus? Having lots of ones on me at any given time makes me feel like I have a bankroll - even if it only amouts to $37 dollars or so.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Email to a friend.

(why not? It's a decent MS summary.... and, I already typed it all....)

I have to say - I hate just putting the MS stuff out there, but how else to do you go about something like that? There's no real protocol for these things, as far as I'm aware. But it is something I like to share. If only because it does effect me at times and it's easier if people know that something is going on with me. Your response was wonderful - caring, concerned, genuine, and without hesitation. Thank you.

MS effects every person who has it differently. They don't know what causes it (part genetics? part virus? both? they don't know) and it is incurable. It attacks the central nervous system, causing lesions on the brain and spinal cord. Lesions are areas where the myelin (fatty coating on the nerves) has been destroyed, causing a disruption of the signals that the nerves should be conducting. There's no way to heal these lesions once they occur, but, there are drug therapies to slow down the progression of new lesions from forming. There are 4 different therapies that work in different ways, but they are all administered by injection. The one I chose - because it has the least side effects - is injected daily. And I hate needles. So that works out well.

I have a friend with MS (and another who recently passed away who had it), so when I first heard the words "abnormal areas of demyelination" in regards to a brain MRI I had done (for something completely unrelated, btw), my heart sank - I knew what the term likely meant. I had three distinct lesions. Unfortunately, it took a full year to diagnose the issue for sure, since there's no test for MS. Instead, I had to be aware of symptoms and possible symptoms over the year's time, have a mess of tests done to rule other testable things out, continue meeting with my neurologist, and have another MRI done at the end of the year - which was February of this year. March 13th (a friday the 13th, naturally) I got the diagnosis - three more lesions, bringing my total to 6, and various issues/symptoms over time. That's when I started the drug therapy and started trying to deal with the reality of it all. See, for the year prior, I had been content to shove it to the deepest parts of my lesion addled brain and pretend nothing was wrong. Ignoring it didn't make it not real though.

While the presenting symptoms can be different for everyone - physical, emotional, and mental - mine are, at this time, mostly mental and emotional, only partly physical. I have been on anti-depressants for over a year now. When my MD put me on them, I didn't even connect it to the MS, but my neurologist connected the dots for me. MS will often cause changes in the brain chemistry, so, yeah, no surprise there I guess. Getting my diagnosis certainly didn't help me "feel" better about it. I'm also quite emotionally unstable at times. They call it "emotional lability" - I call it "emotional incontinence". In case you didn't read the entry, this one sums it up well. So sometimes I find myself crying over nothing - or everything - at inopportune times. Like at work. With cadets around. That sucks. But I also can't really control it. And that drives me crazy - makes me feel like I am losing my mind. Sometimes I am overly anxious. Sometimes I am overly angry and short-tempered. Oh, and a lot of the time - as in more days than not - I can't sleep. I am exhausted, but not sleepy. That? Doesn't help any of the crying/anxious/angry stuff. I'm like a cranky two year old. I have a feeling you know what that's like.

It's fun stuff.

I also have cognitive problems. Some days I just can't find the right words for things or I have a hard time stringing coherent thoughts together. That's frustrating - given what I do and how many people I interact with on a daily basis. But, at least my fellow counselors know what I am dealing with and when I am having a bad day, I can continue to trip over my words and they understand and laugh along with me - which helps make it a little less frustrating. I also forget things sometimes. Like, one day I was driving home, got to a stop sign, and had no idea where I was or which way I should turn. None at all. I knew I was on my way home, but not where I was. I wasn't panicked, but more curious about how it came to that - like, how could I not know where I was? It cleared after about a minute (which, fortunately, I just sat there and no one came along) and I realized that I was 1/2 a mile from home on the road I have lived on since 1986. Seriously. I also one day forgot which tooth brush was mine. So I used both of them to see which one "felt" right. Stuff like that is weird, but it clears quickly, so I am okay with it as a weird footnote to the MS. I just hope it never develops into something long lasting - and I know that possibility exists.

My physical stuff is minor compared to what others suffer - and, I suppose, what it could become in time. (MS is progressive, so it will only get worse, the meds just try to slow the rate of deterioration.) I am weak sometimes. Like, I will pick Callie up and I feel like I don't have the strength to hold her long. Or my legs are achy just from walking around. Or I am fatigued overall - that is there a lot actually, the fatigue. Sometimes I just feel physically spent although I haven't done much at all. As in, all I did was sit at my desk all day. I also twitch. Like, little involuntary ticks in my arms, legs, torso, head, whatever. It's subtle unless you're watching me closely. And it doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it can be annoying. I also tremor sometimes, mostly in my hands or legs. But that is minor as well.

It could be worse. Many people with MS have trouble walking, or numbness (which I do get occasionally, but not in any large way), and end up in a wheelchair. Others have vision problems that can range from blurriness and floating spots (both of which I have at times) to outright blindness in one or both eyes. So I realize, while I am at times completely stressed at how I feel, it could be worse. But the fun thing is? Stress makes all the symptoms worse. It causes flare-ups. And I mean, what's more relaxing than knowing your brain has holes in it? (well, not really "holes", but I like the visual of swiss cheese brain) So it's sort of a catch-22. Also? For some weird reason, heat makes MS worse - like the body has a harder time cooling itself, the core temp goes up, and the brain goes haywire. They really don't know why that is either, but it's been shown to be the case for the majority of MS sufferers.

I have no idea if I answered your questions, but I feel like I have rambled on for a crazy amount here - just on the MS. When really? It's just a part of life - like anything else I suppose. It's just something I need to incorporate into my paradigm.... I'm still working on that....

And in response to your other comment: yes, I over think everything. I spend WAY too much time in my own head. I have always been that way, but now, it has taken on a life of it's own in response to the MS stuff. Like, before, I used to simply think a lot - contemplate things in a more philosophical manner. I used to believe that things happened for a reason and if we just let go and follow the flow, there's a pattern and path. I still think that, to a point, but now? Now so much seems so wildly out of my control - including my own emotions - that it is all but impossible to just let go. Instead, I seem to try to apply a death grip to anything and everything that I value - like, my sanity. And that leads to greater anxiety. Because life, by it's very nature, is unpredictable. And I feel like I have had enough of that for now.

And, I imagine, you have had enough of this email by now!! Sorry to be so long winded. But, I appreciate you asking me about it - and I clearly have no trouble talking about it. :-) At length. Wow.

My iPod knows me better than you do. (or why Steve Jobs is fucking with my head.)

I love my iPod. Recently though, I started to feel a little like my iPod was stalking me. It knew entirely too much about me. It knew my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, my dreams - my deepest secrets.

It blew my mind.

Dude, has anyone else ever noticed the Top 25 Most Played playlist?

I am sure this is old news to basically everyone but me, but this thing reads like a diary! Including the embarrassing stuff you wouldn't want anyone else to know about. So, naturally, I thought I would share a little.

And from now on? Anyone I meet is going to have to pass me their iPod so I can scope out the real deal without all the work of actually stalking them. Because if you’re all “emo goth chick” or “cap-popping gansta” hiding in the body of an unassuming 30-something? I think I have the right to know.

(and if the above two quotated phrases don’t permanently cement me as uncool in your mind, nothing will.)

((and yes, I totally just made up the word “quotated”. Deal.))

1. "Sometime Around Midnight"
The Airborne Toxic Event

Due in part to the fact that I am haunted by memories born of love, I can only hope that someone else is haunted by me. (and, I am drunk a lot.)



"Then you walk, under the streetlights.
And you’re too drunk to notice,
that everyone is staring at you.
You just don’t care what you look like,
the world is falling around you.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You just have to see her.
You know that she’ll break you in two."

2. "Vindicated"
Dashboard Confessional

Yeah, I know, it's the song from Spiderman. But it's such a good song. And I am flawed.... but I am cleaning up so well.



"I am vindicated
I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right
I swear I'm right
I swear I knew it all along
And I am flawed
But I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself"

3. "Grapevine Fires"
Death Cab for Cutie

4. “Closer”
Ne-Yo

5. “The Way I Are”
Timbaland

Despite the obvious grammatical errors (or perhaps because of them), I heart this song.



“Can you handle me the way I are?”

6. "Decode"
Paramore

Oh god, it's another song from a movie soundtrack.... this does not speak very well of me, does it? Does it help at all that I’ve never seen the movie?

(Yes, I did read the books.)

Moving right along.....

7. “Starlight”
Muse

8. “That’s Not My Name”
The Ting Tings

9. “I’m Yours”
Jason Mraz

I like to sing this song at the top of my lungs in the car. Why? Why not. It’s great, and happy, and it makes my terrible singing worthwhile.

“Open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love...”

10. “Stronger”
Kanye West

At least one of the speakers in my car met it’s match with this song. Meh, it was a factory issue anyway....



“N-n-now th-that that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger
I need you to hurry up now
Cause I can't wait much longer
I know I got to be right now
Cause I can't get much wronger
Man I been waitin' all night now
That's how long I've been on ya”

11. “Somewhere Out There”
Our Lady Peace

12. “Where Are You Going?”
Dave Matthews Band

13. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
My Chemical Romance

This song is great. How can you not love this song? And watch the video. Seriously, even if you don't love the song, you will love the video. If you love neither, stop reading right now. We can never be friends. And I have no interest in seeing your iPod.



"Well if you wanted honesty, that's all you had to say.
I never want to let you down or have you go,
it's better off this way.
For all the dirty looks,
For photographs your boyfriend took,
Remember when you broke your foot from jumping out the second story?

I'm not okay.
I'm not okay.
I'm not okay.
You wear me out.

What will it take to show you that it's not the life it seems?
(I'm not okay)
I told you time and time again
you sing the words but still don't know what they mean
To be a joking look
Another line without a hook
I held you close as we both shook for the last time
Take a good hard look!

I'm not okay.
I'm not okay.
I'm not okay.
You wear me out.

Forget about the dirty looks
The photographs your boyfriend took?
You said you read me like a book, but the pages are all torn and frayed

I'm okay.
I'm okay!
I'm okay, yeah
(I'm okay, yeah)
wish you were really hear listening to me
Because I'm telling you the truth
I realize I'm okay!
(Trust me.)

I'm not okay
I'm not okay
Well, I'm not okay
I'm not o-fucking-kay
I'm not okay I'm not okay
(Okay)"

14. “Love Remains the Same”
Gavin Rossdale

Let’s face it: Gavin Rossdale is dreamy.

“A thousand times I’ve seen you standing
Gravity like a lunar landing
Make me want to run till I find you
I shut the world away from here
Drift to you, you’re all I hear
Everything we know fades to black

Half the time the world is ending
Truth is I am done pretending

I never thought that I had anymore to give
Pushing me so far
Here I am without you
Drink to all that we have lost
Mistakes we have made
Everything will change
But love remains the same”

15. “Last Goodbye”
Jeff Buckley

So many people have no idea what this song is - and that’s a shame. Listen to it. Know it. Love it.

(it’s for your own good.)



“This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it's over
Just hear this and then I’ll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you'll ever know

This is our last embrace
Must I dream and always see your face
Why can't we overcome this wall
Well, maybe it's just because I didn't know you at all

Kiss me, please kiss me
But kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation
You know it makes me so angry 'cause I know that in time
I'll only make you cry, this is our last goodbye

Did you say 'no, this can't happen to me,'
And did you rush to the phone to call
Was there a voice unkind in the back of your mind
Saying maybe you didn't know him at all
You didn't know him at all, oh, you didn't know

Well, the bells out in the church tower chime
Burning clues into this heart of mine
Thinking so hard on her soft eyes and the memories
Offer signs that it's over... it's over”

16. “Paralyzer”
Finger Eleven

17. “Hysteria”
Muse

18. “Motorcycle Drive By”
Third Eye Blind

When it comes to songs having attachments to people and memories, this song is so heavy with them it practically collapses under its own weight.

“Summer time and the wind is blowing outside
In lower Chelsea and I don't know
What I'm doing in this city
The sun is always in my eyes
It crashes through the windows
And I'm sleeping on the couch
When I came to visit you
That's when I knew
I could never have you
I knew that before you did
Still I'm the one who's stupid
And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I never been so alone
And I've never been so alive

Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes
And you don't mind, you smile
And say the world doesn't fit with you
I don't believe you, you're so serene
Careening through the universe
Your axis on a tilt, you're guiltless and free
I hope you take a piece of me with you
And there's things I'd like to do
That you don't believe in
I would like to build something
But you never see it happen
And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've, I've never been so alive

And there's this burning
There is this burning
Where's the soul I want to know
New York City is evil
The surface is everything but I could never do that
Someone would see through that
And this is our last time
We'll be friends again
I'll get over you, you'll wonder who I am
And there's this burning
Just like there's always been
I've never been so alone alone
And I've, and I've never been so alive
So alive

I go home to the coast
It starts to rain
I paddle out on the water
Alone
Taste the salt and taste the pain
I'm not thinking of you again
Summer dies and swells rise
The sun goes down in my eyes
See this rolling wave
Darkly coming to take me
Home
And I've never been so alone
And I've never been so alive”

19. “Shake It”
Metro Station

Guilty pleasure. Pure and simple.

20. “Come On Get Higher”
Matt Nathanson

21. “Take a Picture”
Filter

22. “Innocent”
Our Lady Peace



“I remember feeling low
I remember losing hope
I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

We are, we are all innocent
We are all innocent
We are, we are...
We are, we are all innocent
We are all innocent
We are, we are...

One day, you’ll have to let it go
You’ll have to let it go
No...
One day, you’ll stand up on your own
You’ll stand up on your own
Remember losing hope
Remember feeling low
Remember all the feelings and the day they stopped”

23. “Deep Inside of You”
Third Eye Blind

24. “In Your Eyes”
Jeffrey Gaines (live) - covering Peter Gabriel

25. “Hot N Cold”
Katy Perry

TOTAL guilty pleasure. I heart Katy Perry.



“You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yeah you, PMS
Like a bitch
I would know

And you
Over-think
Always speak
Cryptically

I should know
That you're no good for me”

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mending the cracks.

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful."

~Barbara Bloom


Wow. I must sparkle with a blinding brilliance by now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Complete and total breakdown in 3.... 2.... 1....

Since when did a nervous breakdown become something that you need to schedule? I mean, seriously, back in the day, when women went nuts, they did it with style, they did it in a grand way, and they got put away in a quiet room somewhere for some alone time, shock therapy, and a frontal lobotomy. "Hysterical" is what I think they called it.

Well I am finding life pretty fucking hysterical right now.

You know what I find hysterical? I have been on various antidepressants for over a year now - and I am still unable to see the beauty in life. I know it's there, but it's sort of like the ship in one of those 3-D pictures that were so popular in the 90's? the ones where you knew if you could just "look" in the right way, you could see it.... but I just can't. It's all a big fucking mess to me.

You know what else is a big fucking mess? Me. Some days it's all I can do to get out of bed. But then, after I do, I still have to stumble through my work day, then come home and try to not lose my shit. And by "lose my shit", I mean cry, scream, or freak out for no reason. And by "no reason", I mean no reason that anyone on the outside can see. Everything looks great, right? Until you try living in my hole-filled brain. No one would want to do that. I don't even like it - it's the Hotel California - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

I want to breakdown. I want to give up. Surrender to whatever this is and just find some way to go through it and hope there's an end. But, instead, I am working every day to fight it. Fight breaking down. Maintain some semblance of normalcy and appearance of non-fucked-up-ness. Pretend like an endless future of feeling like this doesn't scare the shit out of me. Selfishly wishing, all the time, that I could just stop.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why blog when I can say what needs to be said with music?

(I mean hell, I'm not reinventing the wheel here.)

((plus? I am uber-lazy today. Deal with it.))

"With friends like you, who needs enemies?
You ain't right, you ain't never gonna be,
You're out of the car, I'm afraid you've been declined.
You shake my hand, while you're pissing on my leg
I'm cuttin you loose, I don't need this misery
Your soul is toxic, you ain't no friend of mine.

You talk real trash when I'm not around
To build yourself up, you gotta to tear me down.
You'll have to excuse me, I've got better things to do.
You smile through your teeth, you talk out your neck
Every chance you get you're gonna stab my back.
Your time's run out, I've got nothing left for you...

I'm leaving you far behind.
I'm leaving you far behind.
Stop wasting all, all my time.
I'm leaving you far behind.

So I'm pulling out the weeds, I'm taking stock
You can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk
Your narcissistic ways have gotten the best of you.
So I'm leaving you to sink, in all your glory
For you and me it's the end of the story.
Get out of my way, I've got better things to do...

I'm leaving you far behind.
I'm leaving you far behind.
Stop wasting all, all my time.
I'm leaving you far behind.

With friends like you, who needs enemies?
You ain't right, you ain't never gonna be
Your soul is toxic, you ain't no friend of mine."


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Serving time for mistakes made by another in another lifetime.

So I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. (A friend who, by the way, mocked my liberal use of you-tube music videos in my blog.... he's just jealous.... I could communicate solely in music if I needed to.) And somewhere in the conversation, he says to me, "I forget sometimes that you have MS. And when I remember, it just seems so unfair. Also, you're like, the coolest person I know. And I wish I could use music videos with the mastery you do."

(It was something like that anyway. I know for sure at least the first part is accurate. The second parts may have just been implied. He was definitely saying it with his eyes though.)

My reply to him was that of course it's unfair - but why not me? Wouldn't it be unfair for anyone? And aren't there people, far less deserving than me, suffering from illness and hardship way worse than MS? Of course there are. And of course it's unfair. Why not me?

That bit of the conversation - albeit a short part of a longer conversation - made me think of the idea of karma. I often feel like karma's bitch. What may I have done in past lives to influence both the good and bad that is now occurring in this life? And how is what I am doing in this life setting me up for the next journey? Will I ever get it right? Can anyone?

Do I really care? ;-)

It's all a part of the journey. Everything - every choice, every chance, every moment - is a lesson to be learned or an experience to be embraced. Including MS. I don't know what the lesson is. Maybe it is just karmic retribution. Maybe next time will be easier. Maybe it won't. Maybe I'm just serving time for mistakes made by another in another lifetime. Or maybe, just maybe, without the good done by another in another lifetime? This would all be much much worse.

Mostly? I just like the idea that we all get a chance to do it all again. And again. And again.

Good. Bad. Or indifferent.




"Galileo's head was on the block
The crime was looking up the truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth

And then you had to bring up reincarnation
Over a couple of beers the other night
And now I'm serving time for mistakes made by another
In another lifetime

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision
King of insight

I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision
King of insight

I'm not making a joke you know me I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there'll be no nuclear annihalation in my lifetime
I'm still not right

I offer thanks to those before me that's all I've got to say
Cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay
But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
Or she'll say
Look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think I'll write a book

How long till my soul gets it right
(till my soul gets it right)
Can any human being ever reach the highest light
Except for Galileo
(resting soul)
Resting soul
(of Galileo)
King of night vision
King of insight

How long?
(till my soul gets it right)
(till we reach the highest light)
How long?
(till my soul gets it right)
(till we reach the hightest light)
How long?"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet you on the other side.

Yes, I understand that every life must end, uh-huh
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, uh-huh
Oh I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they've got none

Stay with me...
Let's just breathe...

Practiced all my sins, never gonna let me win, uh-huh
Under everything, just another human being, uh-huh
I don't wanna hurt, there's so much in this world to make me believe

Stay with me
You're all I see...

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't I'm a fool you see
No one knows this more than me

As I come clean...
I wonder everyday, as I look upon your face, uh-huh
Everything you gave
And nothing you would save, oh no

Nothing you would take
Everything you gave...

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't I'm a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
And I come clean, ah...

Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me til I die
Meet you on the other side...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The wisdom to know the difference.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change those things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."


The serenity prayer. Known and loved/hated by thousands of addicts around the world. And me.

(and I am certainly an addict, though not to any particular vise... but that is a post for another time.)

Long before I knew its daily use in AA meetings, I loved this quote. I actually used it as my high school senior quote - right under the smiling picture of a 17 year-old me who had no idea what lie ahead of her. I still love it, but with one caveat. I don't think that God (or anyone else for that matter) is simply going to grant me these things. I think it's something I have to choose for myself. And choose to work on.

I have not been working on this recently.

In fact, I can't remember the last time I found anything even remotely resembling serenity. And acceptance is equally hard to come by when it feels like you're trying to keep a strangle hold on your sanity.

I have, however, begun to recognize those things in my life that I can and cannot change.

(and as GI Joe would say, knowing is half the battle.)

I cannot change other people. I can accept them for who they are or I can extract them from my life. It’s as simple as that.

It’s extremely hard, though, to come to terms with the knowledge that someone you care about is no longer a beneficial part of your life. Sometimes relationships have an expiration date. Something that was beautiful and fulfilling in its time may now be draining or painful or simply exhausting. I can’t change that. But I can choose to remember the good times, love that relationship for what it was, and stop trying to make people live up to my expectations.

(release my kung-fu grip on those expectations, as it were.)

((yes, that was my second GI Joe reference in one post.))

I can change my attitude. What is that quote? Ah yes....

“Life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we react to it.”

These are the choices we make everyday. I can choose to be happier. I can choose to be more positive. All those people whom I can’t change? I can change how I let them effect me.

I used to be quite proud of the fact that I exuded a positive outlook on things. I was optimistic. I looked for and believed in the best of people. I spread the love, peace, hope, and joy.

Now? Not so much.

Somewhere along the line, I lost that. Or it was chipped away. Or it simply gave up and left. But I miss it. I miss that version of me.

“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”

While this quote amuses me - and the pessimist in me agrees with it - I am tired of being proven right. I want to be proven wrong. So maybe it’s time to change my attitude. Make myself smile until I start to believe it? Maybe....

I can’t change MS. It’s an incurable disease. I’d like to say I could change my attitude about MS and choose to see it as some sort of blessing that is going to alter my life in positive ways, but let’s be honest, shall we? I can’t do that. Not right now. It’s too new. Too fresh. And quite frankly, too scary.

I can change my health. While MS is certainly going to do things to me - physically, mentally, and emotionally - that I did not sign off on, that doesn’t mean I have to help it along. The best thing I can do for myself is maintain the aspects of health that I do have some control over. So I need to eat better. Not drink so much. (*gasp!!*) Exercise more. Take my meds and supplements every day. And generally manage my stress levels better. Some of that is just mental stuff as well. Stress is never visited upon us. We inflict it on ourselves. And if we allow it to overwhelm us, surely we are only harming ourselves.

I still have some thinking to do. And let’s face it, with as much time as I spend trapped in my own head, that won’t be too hard. However, then comes the hard part - mustering up some courage and serenity.

I wish they made a pill for that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reasons I hate the gym.

1. Fat Men in Sleeveless T-shirts.

Seriously guys? Take note here: A big baggy t-shirt with the arms ripped off? Not Attractive. Having to see your big hairy man-boobs every time you move? Borderline criminal. Someone is going to vomit in their mouth at an inopportune moment on the stair climber and choke to death. You don't want that on your conscience. So knock it off! Wear your sleeves or wear a bra. Your choice.

2. Skinny Bitches.

Look here girls, you're already skinny. Get off the damn elliptical and get out of my gym. Go home, eat a pizza or two. Yes, a whole pizza. You will thank me. Come back when you're fat and need to be at the gym. Unless you're one of those types who can eat whole pizzas on a regular basis and never gain an ounce. In that case, you can just go straight to hell.

3. 70's Pornstar Mustaches.

No one should have these. Seriously. Not at the gym, not anywhere. This is simply a good rule to live by. Trust me.

4. Food Network on the TV.

I'm on the elliptical, trying to work my fat ass off, and someone is on the TV, right in front of me, deep frying a turkey? You. bastards. After that? Paula Dean. Making a damn cake. I almost drowned in my own saliva.

5. No, I was not checking you out.

Okay, again, guys? Especially older guys who somehow believe that being all sweaty and gross somehow makes your beer gut and comb-over more attractive to the opposite sex? If I happen to look up from the treadmill/stair master/elliptical/stationary bike at just the right moment to (unfortunately) make eye contact? It does not mean I am checking you out. I am not warm for your form. So please stop walking past me so I can get a better look.

6. It Reminds Me that I am Fat.

Any chance all that jiggling going on behind me while I'm on the elliptical is actually attractive?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

Fuck.

Guess I'm going back again tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What day is this?



"Maybe different but remember
Winters warm where you and I
Kissing whiskey by the fire
With the snow outside
And when the summer comes
In the river
Swims at midnight
Shiver cold
Touch the bottom
You and I
With muddy toes

Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you should
It was good as good goes
Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you did

Wake up naked drinking coffee
Making plans to change the world
While the world is changing us
It was good good love
You used to laugh under the covers
Maybe not so often now
But the way I used to laugh with you
Was loud and hard

Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you should
It was good as good goes
Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you did

So what to do
With the rest of the day's afternoon hey
Isn't it strange how we change
Everything we did
Did I do all that I could

That I should have done

Remember we used to dance
And everyone wanted to be
You and me
I want to be too
What day is this
Besides the day you left me
What day is this
Besides the day you went

So what to do
With the rest of the day's afternoon hey
Well isn't it strange how we change
Everything we did
Did I do all that I could

Remember we used to dance
And everyone wanted to be you and me
I want to be too
What day is this
Besides the day you went babe
What day is this"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What have I been missing?

Stop.

Be quiet.
Be still.
The signs are there.
They are small. They are hiding. They are all but silent.
And they are pointing out the way.

Ssssshhhhhhh.

Be still.

We rush through our days.
Weeks.
Years.
Never stopping to really take a look around.
To read between the lines.
To notice the details.

"The devil is in the details" they say.
Life is in the details.
And it's the details that we often fail to see.
Those who love us.
Those who care.
Those who do not.
Those who never will.
Those who show us who they are - in a thousand small ways.
Everyday.

(How do we show our self?)

It's the daily events.
Strung together. Played out over time.
And in those daily events?
Small moments.
Small signs.
Tiny gestures.
Moments of beauty.
Chances for greatness.
Opportunities to spread light.
Love.
Peace.
Joy.
Hope.

Knowledge we are missing.
Paths left untraveled.
Words unspoken.

Stop.

Be still.

Don't miss the moments.
Don't ignore the signs.
Seize every opportunity.
Embrace the details.
Enjoy the journey.
Spread the love.

See the big picture.
But notice the brushwork.

Be. Still.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

10 things I won't be doing any time soon.

While working online this morning (i.e. searching for a horoscope that said anything at all hope inspiring about my day ahead), I stumbled across an article titled “10 Ways to Wake Up Beautiful”. Seeing as I have seen myself almost every morning for the last 32 years and have yet to think, “Wow. Now that is how you wake up beautiful!” I figured it was worth a look. God knows, I can use all the help I can get these days.

Wow. Was I wrong.

This article needs all the help it can get. So that’s just what I did. Don’t thank me now for all my sage advice. Just send money. And wine.

1. Get an Early Start.
Make a habit of washing your face a few hours before bed. If you wait until you're tired, you're more likely to blow it off -- allowing "toxins and dirt to stay on there all night," says dermatologist Laurie Polis of N.Y.C. Another consequence? You miss the best time to treat your skin. "At night there's more blood flow to the skin's surface, and there's nothing else on your face to interfere with absorption," Polis says.

1. Try to Remember to Wash Your Face.
Short of pasting a post-it note every 20 - 30 feet around my home/office/car, I am lucky if I remember to do anything most days. The fact that I get up every morning is only due to my husband remembering to set the alarm. Other than that, my nighttime routine is pretty much up to me. Maybe the moral to this story is to get a husband who will wash your face for you. And give you a pedicure as well. Because who doesn’t need a pedicure?


2. Sleep on Your Back.
Note to Audrey Hepburn fans: Lying on your stomach is bad for "beauty sleep." The average head weighs 7 to 8 pounds -- a lot of pressure to be putting on your face every night. In fact, many dermatologists say they can tell what side of the face people sleep on by the number of wrinkles there.

2. Sleep. It’s just that simple.
But for being so simple? It’s not that easy. If you find a good way to fall asleep quickly and easily (outside of meds and drinking heavily - both of which I have tried) tell me. Hell, tell everyone. But patent it first. You’ll want to make some bank on that.


3. Get a Lift.
Sleep with your head elevated on two pillows, or put the headrest area of your bed on 2- to 4-inch pieces of wood. Gravity helps lymph and blood flow so fluid won't accumulate, Polis says.

3. Get a Life.
Who wants 2 to 4 inch pieces of wood under the feet of their bed? And what happens if the dog knocks them out whilst scrambling under there in a thunderstorm? Dog vs Bed? I am thinking the bed wins. You don’t want that sort of thing on your head. The guilt alone will give you way more wrinkles than fluid accumulation.


4. Save Money, Not Wrinkles.
At night you don't need to worry about eye treatments smearing your makeup, so slather on the richest formula you can. Polis swears by Aquaphor: "It conditions lashes and hydrates the delicate eye skin really well."

4. Just Save Your Money. Period.
Who has extra money to be spending on “the richest formula” eye cream you can get? Seriously? Am I the only one living in this economy? Besides, I’m lucky if I remember to wash my face. Didn’t you read #1?


5. Sneak a Glow.
Mix a drop of self-tanner into your night cream or use a cream that contains a bit of tan-producing DHA.

5. Sneak a Shot of Jack in Your Coffee.
Mix a shot (or two) of Jack in your morning coffee. The caffeine gets you going and the Jack will put a rosy hue on your cheeks. Bonus? You won’t hate your commute as much. You’re welcome.


6. Avoid Carb Face.
To wake with defined cheekbones, eat a high-protein, low-sugar dinner (try salmon and asparagus, a natural diuretic). Skip the rice, pasta and potatoes. "When our diet's high in glycemic carbohydrates, our features take on a soft, doughy appearance," says Connecticut dermatologist Nicholas Perricone.

6. Marry a Plastic Surgeon.
If you really want defined cheekbones, have someone alter your face. There’s never a reason to avoid carbs. Don’t buy into the hype. In fact, have some potato chips with a glass of wine - the two are a nice compliment.


7. Wrap It Up.
To minimize A.M. frizz, sleep on a satin pillowcase or put your hair in a silk scarf. "Those fabrics are much softer than cotton, so there's less friction," says Harry Josh, a John Frieda stylist.

7. While you’re at it? Better Wrap Yourself in Duct Tape.
Because if you’re sleeping on jacked up pillows to prevent head swelling with satin pillowcases and/or a silk scarf to prevent friction? Your ass is sliding right down that bed. Expect to wake up somewhere close to your significant other’s mid section. Better hope he didn’t have a burrito for dinner.


8. Find Your Inner Ballerina
Pile hair into a twist on the top of your head (use a scrunchie to avoid crimping). "In the morning you'll have major volume and beautiful waves," Josh says.

8. Find Your Inner Bitch.
Someone has a problem with how your hair looks in the morning? Tell them to go to hell. You’re probably cranky anyway from not getting enough sleep and your neck is sore from trying to prop yourself up on 23 pillows so your head won’t bloat. Channeling your inner bitch has never been easier.


9. Turn on the Hair Conditioning.
Sleep with a moisturizing treatment in damp hair overnight. We like Philip B. Katira Hair Masque, but any rich conditioner will do. Rinse in the morning.

9. …….
Seriously? Wet hair smeared with conditioner, wrapped up on top of your head, covered with a silk scarf, eyes smeared with cream, trying to sleep on a jacked up pillow covered in satin? Yeah, *that* sounds like the perfect recipe for sleep to me.
Who wouldn't feel beautiful?

10. Pop a Rooster Pill.
Trust us, we were skeptical. But after swallowing two Wake Up on Time pills at 11 P.M., we found it much easier to get out of bed seven hours later. Created by a sleep-deprived single mother, the pills contain an energizing blend of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12 and guarana-seed extract. It's formulated with a coating that releases ingredients into your bloodstream toward the end of your last sleep cycle, so you wake up feeling clear-headed, not fuzzy.

10. Pop Some Pills. Wash Down With Wine. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Now this is a suggestion I can get down with. Better living through chemistry. Uncork a bottle of wine, pour yourself a nice big glass, pop whatever pills make you feel beautiful. Repeat until desired effect is achieved. Oh, okay, wait, I just actually read their suggestion. That’s not quite what they meant. Okay then, never mind, my suggestion is better. Trust me. (Just don’t tell your friends. Or your family. Or your coworkers. And definitely not your therapist. Or you will find yourself in the middle of an intervention. Again, trust me.)


(original article found here. Seriously, who reads these? I mean other than snarky bitches like me who want to mock them. )

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

None of these pictures are worth a thousand words.

Whenever I see pretty clouds? I think of you. :-)

I can't believe someone let me be a parent. Seriously.

Meow.

Happiness is.... a cherry martini. :-)

This? is bullshit. And this is just my daily morning regimin. One might think that after this many pills, I wouldn't have room to eat. One would be mistaken. My bathroom scale knows better. (Don't you feel silly for not knowing as much as a bathroom scale? It's a cheap one too. For shame.)

Last, but never least = Go Phils.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I don't have a drinking problem. I have a sobriety problem.

Self Image

Sober: "I feel fat and these jeans are too tight. I need to go on a diet. Like, now."
2 Drinks: "I'm not fat, I'm curvy. I like my curves. In fact, these jeans hug all my curves in all the right places."
4 Drinks: "I'm HOT. These jeans look AWE-SOME!"
8 Drinks: "Fuck. This. Shit. I'm getting naked! Wooooooo!"


Poker

Sober: "Check."
2 Drinks: "Um..... check."
4 Drinks: "Raise!"
8 Drinks: "Fuck. This. Shit. I'm all in baby!!! Woooooo!"


My Volume

Sober: (loud, okay? I'm always loud.)
2 Drinks: "No, I do not have an indoor voice!"
4 Drinks: "What??!? You "sssshhhhh!!!" yourself!"
8 Drinks: "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"


My Job

Sober: "Ugh. This job is killing me. I spent 7 years in college for this? Janitors make more than I do. Fuck."
2 Drinks: "These kids need me."
4 Drinks: "I can make a difference! These kids just need someone to support them!"
8 Drinks: "Fuck. This. Shit. I RULE this school!!!! Wooooooo!"


Food

Sober: "Um, I'll have a salad, dressing on the side."
2 Drinks: "Is anyone else hungry?"
4 Drinks: "Hey! Know what would be great right now? NACHOS."
8 Drinks: "Fuck. This. Shit. Let's order a pizza!! NO!! TWO pizzas!! And fries! Woooooooo!"


Drinks

Sober: "I'll have a glass of wine. And a water."
2 Drinks: "You call this a glass? Can't I get a pint glass or something? How much is a bottle?"
4 Drinks: "Let's talk mixed drinks..."
8 Drinks: "Shots?? Heeeeeell yes! Line 'em up!"


Bar Music

Sober: (what music?)
2 Drinks: "Wow. Good tunes."
4 Drinks: "I love this song!!!!"
8 Drinks: "Ess-ess-ess-ess... Aye-aye-aye-aye... Eff-eff-eff-eff... Eee-eee-eee-eee... Tee-tee-tee-tee... Why-why-why-why... Sa-a-a-fety DANCE! We can dance if want to! We can leave your friends behind! Because your friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine!!!"


Facebook

Sober: "Jamie is tired.... ugh...."
2 Drinks: "Jamie is having a glass of wine...."
4 Drinks: "Jamie thinks sobriety is for the weak."
8 Drinks: "Jamie loves all her friends! and family! and WINE!!!! Wooooooooo!"


My Blog

Sober: "MS sucks."
2 Drinks: "Wanna know why MS sucks? Cause I can't sleep. And I cry. All. The. Time. And I am tired. And weak. And the meds..... christ! the damn needles!! Have I shown you my bruises??"
4 Drinks: "Life could be worse."
8 Drinks: "I don't have a drinking problem. I have a sobriety problem."

(problem solved.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some of us.



Heard you today, that isn`t my name, you were fast asleep,
Forget what he did, can I be the kid for your soul to keep.
Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it`s all just the way that we cope with our lives.

I`ve grown to see the philosophy of my own mistrust,
We all have our faults, mine come in waves that you turn to rust,
Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it`s all just the way that we cope with our lives.

I`ve been hanging onto something,
You keep laughing awe-inspiring.

Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it`s all just the way that we cope with our lives.
Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it`s all just the way that we cope with our lives.

My wandering soul found solace at last,
I wanted to know how long it would last.
She`s losing control, she`s coming down fast,
The heart that I stole, I`m not giving back, never giving back.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some days? I am not really here at all.

For you

I have set aside everything I love
I have saved everything else for you
I cannot decide what this doubt's made of
Though I thought over it through and through

In a book in a box high upon a shelf
In a locked and guarded vault
Are the things I keep only for myself
It's your fate but it's not your fault

And for every useless reason I know
There's a reason not to care
If I hide myself wherever I go
Am I ever really there?

There is nowhere else I would rather be,
but I can't just be right here
An enigma wrapped in a mystery,
or a fool consumed by fear

And for every useless reason I know
There's a reason not to care
If I hide myself wherever I go
Am I ever really there?

I will give you all I could ever give
Though it's less than you will need
Could you just forget, if you can't forgive
All the things I cannot concede

And for every useless reason I know
There's a reason not to care
If I hide myself wherever I go
Am I ever really there?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Like a fine wine, I am getting better with age.

Yesterday I turned 32. While I know a few people who really struggled with hitting their 30's and leaving the 20's behind, I had no issue with it. Age is just a number and it's not something I often think about. Of course, like many I am sure, some days I feel older than I actually am. And others? I feel like a kid again.

Age is all in your head anyway.

Crazy thing is, my head is full of holes.

Although I am only two years into this decade, and within those two years, I was diagnosed with an incurable brain-eating disease (disclaimer: MS does not really "eat" your brain, I think we all know I tend to exagerate), I am still enjoying my 30's far more than my 20's.

Not that anything was that terrible about my 20's, but, as an individual, I was still growing. Still sorting things out. Still searching for my place. I just didn't know it.

I think, as a child, I had in my head that at some point, one just becomes an "adult". Seemed to me, that getting married, buying a house, starting a business - all these things were very "adult" things to do. Clearly I had crossed that line from childhood to adulthood and was on my way.

But the thing was, I never felt much like an adult. I felt like I was simply playing dress-up - pretending to be that adult person I was expected to be - and that person? Didn't know what the fuck she was doing. And I was simply waiting for someone to out me.

It wasn't until that entire "adult" life fell apart that I had to start rethinking what being an adult was. And in the midst of sorting all that out - which was many years in the making - I got pregnant. Found out the night before my 29th birthday actually. And I knew my 30's were going to be nothing like my 20's. I was right, I just didn't realize why I was right.

I expected that being a parent would mean new responsibilities. Diapers. Clothes. Food. Day care. Sleepless nights. And it is all those things. But what I didn't expect was how it would change me. The new perspective it would give me on my life, my growth, and really, my place in this world. Suddenly I was someone's mother. But I was also still someone's daughter. And I realized, it's all just a continum. My place on that continum hadn't changed, but I was now aware I was on it.

I don't mean to wax all philosophical here, but it really opened my eyes to what was actually taking place. No one actually just becomes an "adult" - or becomes anything really. We simply continue to grow and evolve along the entire lifespan. Which seems rather elementary and obvious, but it wasn't to me. Not until I had my daughter and watched her grow and evolve that I realized I was too. And if I was, then likely, so was everyone else. None of us are ever done with that process until we're done with life.

So I guess Steven Tyler was right; life's a journey, not a destination.

(God bless Aerosmith.)

Getting my MS diagnosis was just another step in that evolution. I know this disease will have a lot to teach me. How to be strong. And how to be weak. And how to keep moving forward in this process. Certainly, a disease like this? Does not allow you to be stagnant. There's no time when you're constantly trying to accomodate and assimilate new symptoms. It constantly challenges your paradigm and makes you look at yourself and your relationships with others. That's not such a bad thing. It's led to greater growth for me. And in these two years? I have accepted that growth with far more awareness than any growth I experienced in my 20's. In my 20's, I was blindly fighting that growth. I thought I had it all figured out.

Ha. Just... ha.

Now? Despite the bad days - which sometimes seem to outnumber the good days - I realize all the more how blessed my life is. I am aware of more now than I ever was before. Aware of the good and the bad.

It's awakened in me the realization that some of my relationships are not nurturing and fulfilling for me in the way I need them to be. And others are stronger than I would have given them credit for.

It's actually helped me learn how to be needy - which is not the bad thing I once thought it was.

It's made me re-realize how wonderful my family is. They truly love me unconditionally - even when they might not agree with me. And I them.

It's made me aware of how flawed I am. But that's okay because it's also made me realize how flawed everyone is. I am surely not alone in that.

And I am aware that there are many more lessons to be learned - both good and bad - and if I accept those lessons, allow that growth to happen, and embrace the journey, the road will be - if not easier - surely more rich.

I look forward to the next 8 years. I look forward to my 40's. (besides, 40 is the new 20 you know.) And I look forward to whatever lies ahead. I realize it won't all be easy, but it will all be worthwhile.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Music is my life.

Really, it's not though.

I can't sing.

(I like to think I can in my car though, and I do so loudly.)

But when I was little, I apparently told my mom - in a super serious way - that "music is my life"... and she has never let me forget it. The irony is, I suck at all things musical.

However, anytime I hear a song, it throws me right back to the time in my life when that song was popular. I can often figure out when a song came out by remembering what was going on in my life at that time. Significant songs linked to significant people and times.... but also non-significant songs linked to people and times that were ordinary and everyday.... they still linger in my memory.... attached to those songs. Those songs are the soundtrack of my life.

Maybe that would have been a better title for this entry.

I'm losing my train of thought... sorry...

I heard this song on my way home the other day and it sent me right back to being in college. The scene: dark basement of a rented townhouse, the floor wet from the melted snow that came in on the soles of everyone's shoes, packed with people, keg of cheap beer on ice, and music blaring. Me: dancing next to a washing machine, that I think I had been sitting on moments before, with a guy who danced way better than me and WAY better than any white boy has the right to.

This was the song:



Needless to say, I had the radio in my car blaring and was dancing (in my seat) and singing (loudly and badly) all the way down 422.

And for anyone who knows 422 at rush hour? I was doing 10 mph while everyone around me wondered what sort of fit I was having.

Clearly, I didn't care.

Music is my life.

And I like to move it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's like vomitting.

(As in, maybe once it's all out, I'll feel better.)

Another thing I hate about MS? There are oh-so-many, including the fact that my thoughts and emotions no longer seem to be under my own control, but one particularly galling aspect? I look like I am fine.

Most days, I manage to drag myself out bed, get dressed in something reasonably well put together, make it to work, and then work on making it through work. I'm weak, but most days still have enough energy to function. I'm dazed and confused, but usually able to string a few coherent thoughts together. I'm achey and tired, but I just keep pushing through it. I twitch, but it usually goes unnoticed.

Sometimes though, I can't maintain that front of being fine all the time.

Today was one of those days.

I am really starting to resent those days.

Today, at lunch with my coworkers, I was withdrawn and, unfortuantely, short when spoken to. I was just trying to keep my shit together, so I was sort of lost in my own world. But instead of concern, sympathy, or understanding, I was misunderstood.

"Are you pissed off?"

I hate that. Yes, some days I am angry. Somedays I'm angry about work and somedays I am angry about MS. But somedays I am sad. Or tired. Or confused. Or twitchy.

(there seem to be a lot of those days recently.)

And somedays, I just want a little sympathy. Or a hug. Or an understanding pat on the back. Or even just a look that says "hang in there".

But even when I explain that, no, I'm not mad, I'm just not feeling well and have a lot on my mind, it doesn't really make up for my behavior, does it? In the social/working world, it doesn't fix things. It doesn't excuse it. The misunderstanding is already out there. And I don't have the energy to fix it.

So what's a girl to do?

I'll tell you what this girl is going to do. I'm going to withdraw. Find a safe harbor. Wait for the storm to pass. And if I wait alone, then so be it. It's just a job anyway. I'll continue to put myself together, make it to work, and work on making it through.

Everyday.

Even on the days I look fine. Which are most.

But I will have to avoid any sort of interaction that would reveal otherwise. Because people prefer to not have to deal with sick people. Or sad people. Or people that twitch.

(and can you blame them really?)

Because I don't walk with a limp, or have a sign that says, "be nice to me, I have MS and today's not a good day", I will have to add "working to avoid misunderstanding" to my list of things to work on each day. Which likely just means I am just going to have to avoid being around people somedays. Because I don't have energy to fake it all the time. This is why I told my coworkers about my diagnosis in the first place. I hoped for a little understanding on bad days - without having to constantly explain myself.

Guess I will have to anyway.

Or make a sign.

Fuck.

This sucks.

I am sick!

So the doctor's office called back this afternoon. He's going to need to see me before he can consider adjusting my meds.

Fine.

The earliest they can schedule me is in two weeks.

Um, seriously?

Two weeks?? You might as well tell me two months. Or two years.

Two weeks is too long.

Do you have any idea how much damage I can do in two weeks? Damage to my reputation at work? Damage to my relationships? Damage to my own well being?

Answer: Way. Too. Much.

(as an aside to anyone who may be worrying too much right now - I don't mean any actual physical damage to myself... well, short of what damage I might do to my liver by drinking too heavily and the pounds I would gain from eating too much.... but I don't mean any actual physical harm. If I did, I would be checking myself in somewhere, not calling my PCP. I know enough to know that. But don't think I haven't thought of it... checking myself in that is, not harming myself. The idea of a padded room seems great some days.)

((I'm only half kidding.))

(((about the padded room, that is.)))

So no, two weeks will not work. Try again.

One week.

(Ugh!!!!)

Again, seriously? Do you think I can't do ample damage in one week? Don't try me, cause I know I can.

With a sigh, the receptionist says to me, "well, I shouldn't do this, but, I can put it in as a sick visit and he will see you this friday morning."

It's all I can do to not scream at her: "I am sick! I can't stop crying. I can't sleep. I can't think straight. I can't function at work. I can hardly get out of bed! I ache all over. I HAVE FREAKING MS! And right now? Right now MS is making me it's bitch. It's toying with my brain in a way I am NOT equipped to deal with. So if it makes you feel any better? I will fake a cough and lie about having a fever, but for the love of god, I am sick! What more do I need to say?!?!?"

But instead, I say, "Thank you, I appreciate you doing that."

So now instead of two weeks, it will be two days.

Two. Long. Days.

Someone wake me when this is over, okay?

God grant me the apathy I need to not hurt these people.

Some days I wish for apathy. Let’s be honest, serenity is a lot harder to come by - I would be content with the peace of apathy.

How does one define apathy? A quick google definition search turned up numerous results.

(god bless those people at google.)

The one I liked the best was this: Void of feeling; not susceptible of deep emotion; passionless; indifferent.

One I liked, but didn’t like, was this: Complete lack of emotion or motivation about a person, activity, or object; depression; lack of interest or enthusiasm; disinterest.

One I took offense to: A symptom of several mental illnesses, apathy is a lack of emotion or interest in things one would ordinarily consider important.

(mental illness you say? screw you google-search-people.)

One that made me smile: Who gives a shit?

I would argue that being apathetic and being depressed are two different things. I am depressed. It generally makes me sad, sometimes angry, and prone to inopportune fits of crying. None of those states is a lack of emotion, by far. I want to be apathetic. What I am after is a little less emotion. Like, a few moments of none at all would be fine to offset the months of over-the-top emotions I have been feeling.

It would be bliss at this point.

None of my over-the-top emotions ever swing to the end of the spectrum where rainbows and butterflies reside.

In separate, but clearly related news, I have a call in to my doctor to reevaluate my current medications.

I hope he calls soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things that matter.... and things that don't.



Finding out you’re ill puts many things in perspective. Or, I should say, it changes your perspective. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Other times it’s not.

For me, finding out I am sick - and I had to stop myself from using the phrase “something’s wrong with me” because the connotation there isn’t as nice, is it? - really threw many things into black and white for me. And I am a grey person. I live in the grey. I thrive on the grey. But now? Some things are very black and white to me.

Some things matter. And some do not.

I am surprised and saddened to find that some things that I would have considered important to me at one time now, largely, are not. In light of larger issues... larger concerns... and, quite frankly, extremely larger stressors, some things just do not matter.

Let me be clear.

I really do not give a fuck.

I have a very low tolerance for bullshit. Pointless small talk is no longer welcome around here. Put up or shut up, as it were. And then please, get the fuck out of my way.

Because of what I do for a living, I am required to be very giving of myself - very nurturing, empathetic, and kind. I have it within me to be all those things - and enjoy doing so. But because I spend so much of my energy on that process, it leaves me less energy to apply those same qualities to those around me. And the people who are going to get what I have left? Are those who are giving it back to me.

Those who don’t? They no longer matter either.

I had never considered myself a “needy” person. Not in affirmation, support, or assistance. I have never really thought about it much, it just seemed to be my nature.

That has changed for me now too. For better or for worse - and I am nowhere near clear on which it is - this is who I am now.

I need help. I need support. I need some encouragement. I need relationships that nurture me.

For all the people I have nurtured, helped, supported, encouraged, I am sad to see how few were actually giving it back. Not that it was ever a requirement - clearly I chose to surround myself with these people - but seriously? Is this the best they’ve got to give?

Well it’s not enough.

And though it hurts, it also doesn’t matter. I clearly do not have the energy to effect change here. Nor do I want to, quite frankly. The payout has not proven to be worth the effort.

I am tired. All. The. Time.

And I am done.

As an aside to this? I love and appreciate my family and friends and coworkers that have been there for me. Those that have been nurturing and caring and supportive of me. I know it’s not easy. I know I’m not always easy. It’s not always easy to know what I may want or need at any given moment - but thank you for continuing to try.

I don’t say thank you enough.

But please know, what little energy I have left at the end of the day? It’s yours when you need it.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The storm is always on the horizon.

One tear silently rolls down my still dry cheek. It is almost a thing of beauty - that single tear. My face is a blank slate, devoid of any emotion. The tear is more like a leak in the waterworks than an expression of emotion.

But the sobbing has not begun yet. The tear is just the beginning.

Quietly, others follow the first, establishing a course down the no longer dry cheek; the no longer emotionless face. The leak can’t be contained. The sobbing begins.

It’s only then that the thoughts start to swirl and muddle together; some rational, but mostly irrational and absurd. One small part of me demands that this stop - that there is no reason for the meltdown. But the storm of emotion thunders throughout and that small part is swallowed up and drowned out by the noise. I cannot hear what it says to the contrary.

It will carry on like this for a few hours - until the tears run out and dry up or I fall into a fitful sleep. Sometimes the next day is better and I am granted a reprieve. Other days that first tear is still there, waiting to make its appearance.

Most people don’t grieve like this. The thoughts, the sorrow, should precipitate the crying. It should explain the crying. For me, it’s the opposite. My eyes leak, my addled brain responds, and gives into the sorrow. It’s like getting caught up in a current I can’t see, can’t anticipate, and can’t control.

I fucking hate it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"I" before "E", except after a few drinks.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day that got me thinking. She was comparing herself to me and called me an “Extrovert” while classifying herself as an “Introvert”. It gave me pause because this is a woman who performs. Like, gets on stage in front of hundreds of people and sings, dances, acts, etc.

I’ve never even done karaoke because the idea of getting up in front of people makes me want to vomit... just a little.... and then maybe pass out.

I never would have thought of her as an introvert, though, I suppose, after some consideration, I see her point. While she likes the spotlight, she definitely does not prefer the constant company of people. And the characters she plays on stage are a persona - not her. While people may be engaged in watching her, she is still alone on the stage. I wonder how many other performers are also introverts. Ironically, it seems to be rather fitting.

But that’s not to say that I would agree with her assessment of me as an extrovert. I spend a great deal of time stuck in my own head. (too much so, likely) I do a lot of inner exploration and I not only value my time alone, I require it. It’s my profession that has made me develop my extrovert side. I am a good communicator and I work in a field that utilizes that - it doesn’t mean that I would take the company of many over some time of solitude. I require a balance.

So, even with the many extrovert qualities I possess and exhibit, I would say I am an introvert primarily. I may participate in the outside world around me, but I tend to spend too much time living in my own inner world... thinking... trying to sort things out...

Unless I am drinking. When I drink, I tend to be far more engaged and crave the company of others. I am certainly an extrovert then.

But still not enough to do karaoke.